Namibia: //Kharas Accused of Cover-Up in Director's Recruitment

The //Kharas Regional Council management has been accused of trying to cover up flaws in the recruitment of the planning and development director.

The position fell vacant on 31 May 2018 when Augustinus Aucham resigned, and it was re-advertised in March this year without a clause of vetting the potential applicants before it closed on 26 April.

Sources familiar with the recruitment process said three successful candidates, whose names are known to The Namibian, were shortlisted by council's human resources department in May this year.

However, the sources claimed the council's chief regional officer, Beatus Kasete, was dragging his feet in approving the human resources department's request to nominate an interview panel.

Allegations are that the council's top administrator wants to drag the issue and then later re-advertise the position to give the acting planning and development director, Ralph Sachika, an advantage.

Sources within council indicated that Sachika, who also applied for the position, had not been shortlisted since he did not meet the three years management level experience requirement.

He has only been in the deputy director's position for 13 months.

Sources said Sachika apparently raised his discontent to council's political office-bearers over being excluded from the shortlisted candidates while suggesting that the advertisement be cancelled.

Kasete on Thursday did not confirm or deny allegations that shortlisting of the candidates for the said position was complete.

"Staff recruitments are confidential matters until they are finalised, hence I will not compromise the integrity of the process by commenting on the matter," he stated.

Kasete expressed dismay at council staffers who leak internal information to the media, saying The Namibian's enquiry on the issue was the second in just a week.

"I don't know what is the sudden upsurge of leaking information to the media. What is happening in the institution?" he remarked.

The Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (NBC) last week reported that the regional council, in a space of five months, has almost depleted it subsistence and travel allowance.

The council chairperson, Jan Scholtz, yesterday confirmed the drama surrounding the recruitment process started after Sachika had complained about being excluded from the shortlisted candidates.

According to Scholtz, Sachika questioned the three years management level experience for the position, claiming that he had recently applied for a position at Hardap Regional Council and had been invited for an interview.

"It is a genuine complaint, we referred it to the administration to look into the matter. Hence, council was still waiting for feedback," he added.

The politician noted that there were other answers regarding questions raised on the issue of the experience requirement only the administration could provide.

Scholtz noted that Sachika had also lodged a complaint with the Public Service Commission over the experience requirement criteria set by the council for the position.

Attempts to get comment from Sachika proved futile at the time of going to the press as his cellphone went unanswered.

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